Context Road safety forms one of the components for the attainment of two of the Sustainable Development Goals – SDG3 Good Health and Well Being, and SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. Motorised two and three wheelers are particularly vulnerable road users, accounting for 28% of fatal crashes worldwide (WHO, 2018).1Daniello & Gabler (2011)2 found that crashes involving a roadside object are more harmful to motorcyclists than collisions with the ground. Sign and poles pose the second highest risk of motorcycle fatality (trees the highest) and even poles that are frangible when struck by vehicles are, nevertheless, a fixed hazard for motorcyclists. We must do better for motorcyclist safety.
Process & Analysis The Victorian Department of Transport has committed to trialling an innovative frangible pole (Frangipole) on the Murray Valley Highway, following successful lab testing design parameters. The design for these Frangipole devices is such that it can be retrofitted to existing poles and have had design parameters examined using the finite element method. The device features four clips and an internal shearing system which lowers the impact at which the pole fails. Frangipole is frangible for motorcyclists as well as vehicles. The device has been designed to withstand wind loading at wind speeds of 120km/h but still fail at a value that fits within the biomechanical tolerances of motorcyclists (based on cadaver strike studies).
WHO [World Health Organisation]. Global Status Report on Road Safety. WHO: Geneva, 2018.
Daniello A, and Gabler HC. Fatality risk in motorcycle collisions with roadside objects in the United States, Accident Analysis & Prevention 2011;43 (3):1167–1170.
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